Shopping Local – you know it makes sense!

The phrase “a nation of shopkeepers”, commonly attributed to Napoleon as a reference to the United Kingdom.

But there were not so many in the last few years, more ‘Multi National Company Owners’, not ‘little guys’ around as they had been run outa town, from the High Streets by the  ‘Big Boys’ but ironically now most of these big boys and chain have gone, although some are just trading online.

Some were aware of the struggle that our high streets were having EVEN before Covid came to visit.  I’d  had for a while a sneaky feeling that the world was due a reversal of fortunes and the pendulum had swung too far in the direction of faceless, soulless towns and online shopping.

Pembertons Farm Shop & Dairy, Ballam Road, Lytham

In fact COVID may have done us a favour in a round about way. Whilst we were locked down we really missed going shopping. Most of us love to squeeze our avocados, smell that candle, feel the softness of material, marvel at how that ring shines, see how the colour of that top looks against our skin and try things on! I know we always tell our children ‘not to touch’ but isn’t that the first thing we do?? That’s why internet shopping just doesn’t give you the same thrill, the same experience. They can describe a colour or a smell or a texture but it is hardly EVER exactly as you imagined

Timothy's Jewelers Family Lytham

Timothy’s Jewellers, Clifton Street, Lytham

Post COVID there was the more emphasis was put on shopping local and being locally loyal to keep our local economy thriving! You did at one time read lots on Facebook about empty shops and units, but in reality there are not that many, and those that do close down it is maybe for other than economic reasons.

All in all, in this world, not much stays the same for long, they call it …………evolution!  But, ultimately, IT IS up to us,  we dont even have to spend a fortune, how about just £10 per week sound to you? Your small independent business owners in turn will spend money locally on their supply chain, staff wages, other local business they support………..and so on, and so on, the circle of a local economy.

It always made me seethe when there is an outcry on Social Media about this shop or that shop closing down, and you ask these people did they ever shop there?

Gigli’s Butchers & Bistro, St Albans Road, St Annes on Sea

Locally owned independent retailers are the backbone of local communities. It takes a brave soul to decide to set up an independent High Street business either in retail or the food/drink hospitality business, and this spirit should be rewarded. So here’s an idea, lets LOOK LOCAL FIRST, if you can’t buy (whatever it is) on your high street or nearby, that’s fine, but if you CAN please do! (When we say local we mean, Locally owned; Independently operated; as close to home as possible)

Millie and Mini Soy Candles Lytham

Millie & Mini, Handmade Luxury Candles (and more), Clifton Street, Lytham

Lets consider shopping as an ‘experience’ rather than a function, and with the whole family, your sister, favorite Aunt, or with a group of friends, pair it with lunch, coffee & cake, a pint, prosecco or cocktail and it’s an afternoon out!  But instead of the Trafford Centre, Deepdale or another out of town ‘mall’,  let it be YOUR town centre!! Be a tourist in your local town. Discover your NEW favorite shop/café/restaurant. Explore your town and adjoining towns, there is probably SO much you didn’t know was there, right on your doorstep, right under your nose. As well as cutting down your carbon footprint and costs by not driving far, plus the frustration of traffic jams and queuing up to park in city centre car parks, you could even walk or get the bus or the train in.

Eden (Gifts & Collectables) ‘The Square’ St Annes on Sea

Shopping locally is also great way of being more eco friendly all round, when you buy goods from local stores, you reduce the amount of energy used to transport them from distant locations. Local shops are often smaller, meaning they use fewer resources to operate and produce less waste. Additionally, local stores use more sustainable practices, such as sourcing their products from local suppliers, using sustainable packaging, and offering more eco-friendly options. Plus, you can often find unique items that you wouldn’t find in larger chain stores. .

The Crafty Cottage, St Andrews Road, St Annes On Sea

Plus try finding small local independent businesses on line, from High Street Business to Services, to small home based business, they are all local and again help money circulate with the local economy.

Bond and Bloom Lytham High Street and Online

Bond & Bloom, Floral Artisans, Clifton Street, Lytham

I know you cannot buy absolutely EVERYTHING locally but you’ll be surprised!

Berrys Beds Lytham

Berrys Beds, Clifton Street, Lytham

Get to know your local shopkeeper too, they are the experts, as they have a wealth of knowledge about the products they sell and can give you insight about industry trends and what they will be stocking for the next season.

Wild Ginger, Gifts & Homewares, Woodlands Road, Ansdell

In light of recent comments on social media re franchised chains, please be aware that these are usually local people taking on a franchise opportunity and as such is still a small local business and employing local people and spending money in local economy too!

This website’s Lifestyle Directory, is in much need of updating and I will be doing so (soon) as so as you can find out MORE about your local shops and the people that run them

In the meantime Pledge to shop local and follow Lytham Life & Style